The first-round loss at the Australian Open was very tough for me because I was expecting more from myself. I worked so hard in the off-season and that’s why I felt so nervous, because I wanted it too much. It took some days to get over it, normally I bounce back pretty quickly but this one hurt.
I wanted to play Paris to keep playing matches and forget about Australia as fast as possible, but unfortunately I was sick and couldn’t use my wild card there. I was so sick that I also didn’t play Fed Cup – it was so weird because it was the first time I hadn’t played. I was watching on live score and I was very nervous – it’s much better when you’re playing, that’s why I’m looking forward to the semifinal at home.
They were tough days for me and I knew I wouldn’t be in good shape when I went to Doha and Dubai. I just practiced for three days before Doha so it was great that I won two matches, after big fights, and I was just feeling happy to be back.
I didn’t defend my title in Dubai. I don’t know exactly what happened. I played so well in the first set against Carla (Suarez Navarro), but the match was getting longer and longer, the night was getting cooler and the balls were not flying as much. The rallies got longer and she started playing really well – I had some chances to finish the match but she came back and in the end it was just about a few points. In Doha I won matches like that, and in Dubai I lost.
It was definitely a mental battle. If I know I am practicing well, it translates to the court. At this moment, I really wanted to win so it can be really frustrating because I know that I can play well.
Thankfully I have really great fans and they sent me a lot of nice messages after the match. It’s not when you are winning, but you see the real fans when you are losing. I have the best fans in the world, they understand sport and are still believing in me no matter what.
So now I will head to Indian Wells. The running machine has been my best friend for the past few days at home, and I have been practicing every day with David. I have no pain and I am not ill so fingers crossed! Indian Wells is a beautiful tournament and the weather is great. The courts there are quite slow so I will get there early and spend a lot of time getting used to the courts. I have heard there is a Nobu on site there so I’m looking forward to trying it. Hope to see some of you there!